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A Clash of Innocents by Sue Guiney£8.99 £8.49 inc. UK pp
Release date: September 2010
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"It’s not supposed to be cold in February, not in Phnom Penh. Deborah, a 60-year-old American expat, is on her way back to the Khmer Home for Blessed Children which she has run for ten years. A young woman in her twenties is waiting for her. Another American, but with flip-flops and a backpack, she asks, 'Are you Deborah Young? I’m here to help."

So begins a story of hidden identities and questioned motives. Who is this young woman? Who is Deborah? Who are any of the displaced Westerners who find themselves raising the leftover children of Cambodia’s violent past? Against her better judgment and building suspicions, Deborah allows the young woman, Amanda, to stay. But when a sick infant is left on their doorstep, the horror of the young woman’s past catches up with her and infiltrates the orderly workings of Deborah’s home. The precarious well-being of Deborah’s 'family' of forty forgotten Khmer children is jeopardized, as is her own emotional life.

Against the backdrop of Cambodia’s violent past and the beginnings of its new Tribunal for 'justice', a story of displaced souls unfolds. In Cambodia, innocents are everywhere. Everyone is innocent, or so they would like to believe – everyone, except the few who, for their own private reasons, take on the guilt of the many.

Review of A Clash of Innocents

Against the evocative backdrop of Cambodia, this is the heart-warming story of the indomitable Deborah, who runs an orphanage and fights with her own demons as the country struggles to come to terms with its bloody history. Guiney keeps us wanting more with this tale of the triumph of love in impossible circumstances. A real page-turner.
Fiona Robyn

Reviews of her last book

"Tangled Roots is also the work of a gifted writer, who never once intrudes into the story and whose existence we completely forget about. That is the highest praise I can give to anybody's writing skill. Most of all though, it's a compelling story about very believable people in whom we will all see something, perhaps a great deal, of ourselves, and it keeps you turning the pages. What more can we reasonably ask of any novel?"

David Gardiner for Gold Dust Magazine


Sue has lived in London for nearly twenty years where she writes and teaches fiction, poetry and plays. Her work has appeared in important literary journals on both sides of the Atlantic, and her first book, published by Bluechrome Publishing in 2006, is the text of her poetry play, Dreams of May which premiered in London’s Pentameters Theatre. Ward Wood has also publish her poetry collection Her Life Collected

An interview of Sue talking about her work

A Clash of Innocents Goes Back to Cambodia from Nancy Boulicault on Vimeo.

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